“What kind of question is that? It’s the question (Exodus 17:7) that the Israelites asked all the time as they wandered the desert for 40 years. It’s the question buried in the devil’s temptation of Jesus in his desert of 40 days. It’s the question that we ask as we wander the deserts in our own lives. There’s a consistent theme at play here—wandering and questioning. As long as we wander our deserts we will ask the same question—Is God really with us, if he’s real at all?—or simply stop asking because God is nothing to us.
God is always among us. He is with each of us, less than a heartbeat close. He is our Promised Land. The problem is that rather than turn to God, we often chose to turn our backs on him. We wander the deserts in our lives worshiping idols for answers—obsession with money, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc.—rather than simply turn to God. It’s often easier to question God and his existence because of our plight rather than put our faith in him for answers and deliverance.
Just look at the Israelites as a mirror for each of us. God saves them from their plight in life, says “trust me” and I will deliver you to the Promised Land. He delivers them from harm and feeds them on a journey through the desert that should have taken only 11 days. For that short journey they can’t keep the faith and instead turn their backs on God. Along the way they constantly question, “Is the Lord among us or not?” The journey that should take 11 days ends up taking 40 years! Everyone dies along the way, including Moses, and only 2 of the originals to flee captivity make it to the Promised Land. And when on the doorstep to the Promised Land they put up every excuse why they should not enter it. This convoluted journey of aimlessly wandering was just because the Israelites turned their back on God and doubted him. They were more content being uncontent wandering the desert and complaining rather than being led by God to a land overflowing with milk and honey.
If you want to get out of any desert in your life there is only one way out—God. He is always among us. Our choice is simple—wander and question or have faith and get answers. There’s a reason so much of the Bible focuses on the plight of the Israelites. They are a mirror for our own lives. Desert or Promised Land? The choice is ours.
One last note. Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit. He had to come to grips with the same questions and temptations we face. When he came our of the desert he was ready to fulfill his calling; his special purpose in life. We each have a special purpose in life but it’s not in some desert.
Have a GREAT day; hopefully, finding the Promised Land in your life!